Home Design Purchases Unpacked.

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Furniture Shopping.

Dagorà Media Team

Home Design Purchases Unpacked.

Consumer preferences and habits in online shopping for home design and furniture play a crucial role in shaping the e-commerce landscape. Dagorà’s research study unveils e-commerce habits in Italy and Switzerland’s design and furniture industry. The world of furniture shopping has undergone a significant transformation with the rise of online platforms, offering consumers unprecedented convenience and choices. The study reveals that the design and furniture industry is a popular category for online purchases, particularly in Switzerland, where large furniture purchases are frequent. In fact, 58% of the Swiss e-commerce population bought at least one home design item online in the past year, and the industry ranks third in terms of value spent on online purchases, following food and travel. However, despite the growing popularity of online shopping in this category, human contact and the ability to touch products in person remain important factors for consumers. The necessity to select and try items in person for a more pleasant experience and the complexity of returns are cited as the key reasons for not purchasing large furniture and lighting items online.

Online shopping has revolutionized the way consumers acquire furniture, introducing unparalleled convenience as individuals can browse and purchase from the comfort of their homes [21]. This flexibility extends to a broader array of choices [Ibid], with online platforms presenting a diverse range of options that surpass the limitations of physical stores. Moreover, the potential for better prices and deals in the online sphere [Ibid] has further solidified the preference for virtual furniture shopping, contributing to a more cost-effective shopping experience. Time efficiency is another significant advantage [9], as the online purchase process for furniture is notably shorter than traditional in-store transactions, providing consumers with a faster and more streamlined experience. Additionally, online shopping transcends geographical barriers, offering accessibility to a variety of furniture brands and designs that may not be locally available [21].

Despite its convenience, online furniture shopping is not without its challenges. The inability to physically touch and try large items such as furniture and lighting before purchasing remains a substantial drawback for some consumers [30], influencing their decision-making process. The complexity of returns, particularly for significant items, poses another hurdle [9], as the process can be more intricate compared to the straightforward returns in physical stores. Additionally, the absence of human contact and support, valued by some consumers during the furniture-buying journey, is a notable downside of the online shopping experience [2]. While the decision-making process may be shorter for online purchases, it still requires time for research and consideration, potentially prolonging the overall shopping timeline [31].

In the evolving landscape of furniture shopping, the advantages of convenience, wider choice, and price benefits offered by online platforms must be weighed against the challenges associated with the inability to physically engage with products, return complexities, and the absence of human support. As consumers navigate the online furniture market, a balanced understanding of these pros and cons is essential for making informed choices that align with individual preferences and expectations.

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Source: Dagorà, Consumer Research on E-Commerce Habits & Behavior – Focus on the Design & Furniture Industry in Italy & Switzerland, 2023.

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